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Instagram Takeover: Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

In 1988, Mapplethorpe photographed the interior of his apartment on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, New York, for House and Garden Magazine. The images he captured for this feature reveal many of his sources of inspiration, ones that appear throughout his work. “I was a Catholic boy… I went to church every Sunday. A church, especially within the context of the environment I was brought up in, but in any context, has a certain magic or mystery to it for a child. I think the way I arrange things is very Catholic. You know, I’m talking about even just the room, the way it has all these altars. It’s always been that way when I put something together, it was symmetrical. I think that is subconscious. And so, in a way, I think it is rather important as an influence on my life.” – Robert Mapplethorpe, quote from the documentary “Arena: Robert Mapplethorpe” directed by #NigelFinch. Produced by BBC Films, 1988.

Works © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. #RobertMapplethorpe#Mapplethorpe#RobertMapplethorpeFoundation#Altars #HouseandGarden

In 2011, the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation gifted the artist’s archive to the Getty Research Institute. Alongside thousands of photographs, Polaroids, and sculptural works that demonstrate his complex and exacting artistic practice are a series of texts, letters, and ephemera shared between the artist and his friends, collaborators, and lovers. Sam Wagstaff, one of Mapplethorpe’s partners and patron, is featured prominently in the archive, and many personal letters between Wagstaff and Mapplethorpe demonstrate their loving bond over the years. These artifacts are exceptional examples of the intimacy between these two and the love they had for each other.

Handwritten letter from Sam Wagstaff to Robert Mapplethorpe (with envelope), c. 1979. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation / #GettyResearchInstitute.
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Robert Mapplethorpe was successful at capturing the essence of his subjects; he had the power to transform everyday scenes and objects into inspired and complex compositions.

Works: Diane de Beauvau, 1976; Mardens, 1980; Midel Klein, 1977; Moe McDermott, c. 1976. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
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Pets are reaping the benefits of their owners’ newfound time at home. Mapplethorpe photographed animals in his work, either alongside their owners or alone.

Works: Muffin, 1983; Ika, London, 1983; Kitten, 1983; Phillip, Paris, c. 1978. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
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While we all practice social distancing, here is some of Mapplethorpe’s work that captures not only the subjects, but the feeling of physical distance between them.

Works: Robert Rauschenberg and Friend, 1983; Jill Chapman and Ken Moody, 1983; Arlethia and Linda Hutton, c. 1977. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
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The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation is looking forward to sharing some of the artist’s works for the next few days, starting with a selection of interior spaces that Mapplethorpe photographed in the early 1980s. The stark, quiet interiors here, feature symmetrical lines and the beauty of subtle light.

Works: New Orleans Interior, 1982; Interior, 1983; Interior, 1983. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
#RobertMapplethorpe #Mapplethorpe#RobertMapplethorpeFoundation#Interiors #StayInside